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  1. #1
    Ultimate Member [Neo770]'s Avatar
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    Question extra gain Wireless Antenna's

    Hi all,

    By brothers PC has at best low signal strength and the transfer rate sometimes drops to 2Mbit as well as sometimes dropping out of games. I have a Dlink 900AP+.

    I was thinking of getting one of these antennas to help the problem.


    Hawking Technology H-A16SIP Hi-Gain 6dB Omnidirectional Wireless Antenna

    SMC SMCHMANT-4 Antenna 4DBI Indr Omni

    Does anyone have any experience with these things? Will it help with my problem?

  2. #2
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    Yes, it should help. Make sure you have the same connector on your AP posts as what is described in the omni ad. If your going to upgrade you might as well get the more powerful if you've narrowed it down to the two you've posted links to. Going from 2 dB to 4 dB, while a jump, isn't nearly the jump from 2 to 6. You double the power every 3 dB. You might however make sure that your AP is only using 2 dB antennas currently. There are some that ship with 5 dB dipoles. Netgear makes one. My Speedstream uses a single 5 dBi rabbit ear.

  3. #3
    Light to Counter the Dim MTAtech's Avatar
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    Here's that antenna but only $9.99 after rebate. I just bought one.
    http://www.buy.com/retail/product.as...1&loc=101&sp=1

    Although there is a dB gain the main benefit of these antennas is to control directionality. Sometimes there is a solid wall that won't allow any signal to pass. Using an antenna can allow one to bounce the signal around the wall.
    Last edited by MTAtech; January 23rd, 2005 at 10:29 AM.
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  4. #4
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    No, it won't go around anything. It will penetrate better however you bring up a good point that I neglected to address. The antennas mentioned in this thread are directional. If your replacing your omni(s) then you will sacrifice 360 degree coverage. Depends on the antenna but typically the beamwidth will be in the 30-60 degree range so if it is pointing towards computer A it will help, perhaps significantly, with that node's coverage but if computer B is on the opposite side of the room/house/whatever, then it may lose it's connection completely.

  5. #5
    Light to Counter the Dim MTAtech's Avatar
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    According to page four of the manual the antenna can be set up to direct the signal though doors around blocking walls.

    My house has metal foil backed insulation that blocks signals. This antenna allows me to direct the signal around the walls.
    Last edited by MTAtech; January 23rd, 2005 at 10:55 AM.
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  6. #6
    Did you try Google yet? Siliconjunkie's Avatar
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    In additon to what kwebb brought up, most antennas/signals are polarized.

    If you have a vertical antenna on one end and a horizontal antenna on the other, you will see significant signal loss.

    This can also be used to help negate interference. If you are able to change both from verticle to horizontal you can possibly overcome some interferance if it caused by something that is verticle and vice versa.
    My computer is bigger than yours!

  7. #7
    Did you try Google yet? Siliconjunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTAtech
    According to page four of the manual the antenna can be set up to direct the signal though doors around blocking walls.

    My house has metal foil backed insulation that blocks signals. This antenna allows me to direct the signal around the walls.
    I would guess by directing it out the door you are more bouncing the signal down the hall or similar.

    Does your house have foil even on interior walls?
    My computer is bigger than yours!

  8. #8
    Light to Counter the Dim MTAtech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siliconjunkie
    Does your house have foil even on interior walls?
    No, but the garage has foil insulated walls and there are rooms on the other side of the garage. This is my main prob.
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  9. #9
    Did you try Google yet? Siliconjunkie's Avatar
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    I am trying to picture that in my head......
    Not that it matters, but is the garage in the middle of the house?

    Anywho....

    Your best bet for that problem would most likely be another AP on the other side of the garage, or alot more power/gain that would let you get some signal through the foil.

    Or, rip the walls apart and use a different vapor barrier.
    My computer is bigger than yours!

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member [Neo770]'s Avatar
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    So what about me?

    Both all the antennas in my 2pc 1 AP network are verticle. My PC in the room just upstars pretty much straight above the AP gets very good to excelent signal.

    So one of those new antennas will definatly help?

  11. #11
    Did you try Google yet? Siliconjunkie's Avatar
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    Well, I don't think anyone can say that it will definitely help, but it won't hurt.
    My computer is bigger than yours!

  12. #12
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    "According to page four of the manual the antenna can be set up to direct the signal though doors around blocking walls"

    Well then your manual is a joke. Well, I wouldn't put much stock in anything it says given that statement. It is completely bogus. Electromangnetic waves don't go around anything. period.

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member [Neo770]'s Avatar
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    Well back my problem I put the antenna on the AP horizontal and the antenna on the PC horizontal and now signal strength is up from around 38% to around 51% which is not bad. So is it logical to think that with one of those new antennas also placed horizontally the signal would be much better?

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    Using a directional is going to give you better coverage, not to mention the added gain however 50% signal strength is plenty as long as your signal quality is good. Windows utility doesn't give you SNR (quality). you might install netstumbler and see what it is. if it is strong then I wouldn't worry too much about upgrading.

    One thing that goes right along with antenna placement and polarization. If you have the AP in a corner or butted up against a wall you need to move it away if you can. Especially if you only have one antenna. Multipath can be a killer and is accentuated if you have no ability to use spatial diversity, something that cannot be done with only one dipole (antenna)

  15. #15
    Ultimate Member [Neo770]'s Avatar
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    The AP is in a corner but its up pretty high. The gigbyte utility says the link quality is pretty much maxed out, signal strengh is now ~50% and the noise cant remember the number but its only about 1/4 of the bar.

    Well ill leave it like this for a few days then and see if he gets any drops out during gameing of if the datarate drops below 11Mbit.

    Thanks for the advise all

  16. #16
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    Get it out of the corner. Bad place to put an AP.

  17. #17
    Light to Counter the Dim MTAtech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [Neo770]
    So what about me?
    So one of those new antennas will definatly help?
    Oh, it's always about you isn't it? lol

    I think the attennas will help and it's worth a try for $10 bucks.
    Conservatives: "If the facts disagree with our opinion, ignore the facts -- or at least misrepresent them."

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